WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi raised objections with the UN Security Council and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to Turkey’s December 4 deployment of nearly 150 troops and 25 tanks in northern Iraq. The troops were reportedly tasked with retaking the city of Mosul from the Islamic State jihadist group (Daesh in Arabic).
"Another ridiculous question," Kirby said in response to an RT reporter’s query on the US reaction to Turkish forces in Iraq. "I’m stunned you’re not embarrassed by some of the questions you ask."
After a series of heated exchanges, the spokesman moved on to another reporter when prompted to specify which questions the RT reporter should be "embarrassed by."
On Tuesday, Abadi called on NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg to press Turkey to withdraw its troops. According to Abadi’s press service, Stoltenberg promised to convey Iraq's concerns to Turkish representatives in NATO and stressed the importance of a diplomatic solution to the situation.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Jaafari met two days later with five permanent UN Security Council member states' envoys, who reportedly classified the deployment of Turkish troops to the northern Ninevah province as a violation of Iraqi sovereignty.
The same day the White House called to defuse tensions "in a manner that respects Iraqi sovereignty" after US Vice President Joe Biden held a phone conversation with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday Ankara would not pull out its troops from Iraq, explaining that they were deployed there for training of Iraqi military and police rather than for combat. Erdogan added that Turkey, Kurds in northern Iraq and US officials will hold talks on December 21 on the current situation.
US President Barack Obama nominated Kirby to serve as Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs earlier in the day.